Archive | May, 2008

Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde

31 May

I had posted a few weeks previously about Unibroue’s “La Terrible”.  I felt that it was one of the best beers I had ever tasted.  One of the reasons I loved it so much was that it had a fascinating mouthfeel, a very complex texture complemented by wonderful flavors.

After writing that post, there were quite a few people who commented that I should try Unibroue’s “La Fin du Monde” (The End of the World)–an interesting name for a beer, I thought.  I had opportunity to pick up it from the new Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, along with some pre-made, frozen cioppino and a rosemary ciabatta loaf from Trader Joe’s.

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A Cold Weather Red: 2005 La Grange de Piaugier

25 May

After days of 95+ degree weather, there’s been a cold spell punctuated by clouds and rain. The temperature ranges from the 50s to 60s, and it’s nice to throw on a sweater before going out.

I have not had too much wine as of late because of the heat–I focused on Anchor Steam beer, as these were sophisticated, delicious, and refreshing. I couldn’t bring myself to open a bottle of wine–even nice, thirst-quenching varieties like vinho verde and sauvignon blanc. Reds, of course, were out of the question.

Thus I was pleased when the thermostat was turned down a few degrees, especially for my longer than usual Memorial Day weekend (I took this Friday off and get Monday off as well!). On Friday I headed to Mission Wines for a spell to pick up a good cold weather red.

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Robert Mondavi, Wine Magnate, Dies at 94

16 May

The New York Times reports that Robert Mondavi, that titan of wine, died this morning.  He was 94.

Robert Mondavi is best known for his eponymous label, though he is also behind Woodbridge, a line of budget California wines, and Opus One, a selection of ultra-premium cabernet sauvignon.

He was a champion of California as a wine-growing region, specifically one that could rival France and the rest of Europe in terms of quality.

An Evening in Seal Beach: Beachwood BBQ

11 May

A few years ago I took a summer job selling educational books door-to-door in Connecticut with the Southwestern Company; as such, my fellow UC Berkeley salespeople and I drove all the way across the country, first to Tennessee for a week-long sales camp and then up to the Constitution State.

This cross-country drive was a very significant moment for me: I passed through more than twenty states and saw parts of the United States that had been little more to me than pictures or words. The only bad thing about this trip was that it was done at breakneck speed: we went from Berkeley to New Haven in the equivalent of about five days, which meant we drove about 18 hours a day.

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“Give me Liberty Ale, or give me death!”

4 May

Is it just me, or do a lot of beermakers love the whole Founding Fathers / Revolutionary War / Patriot motif?

I’m of course referring to Sam Adams, one of my favorite “small breweries.” Small is in quotation marks here because it’s so ubiquitous now. That ubiquity, however, is a good thing, as I love Sam Adams beer.

Sam Adams was founded in 1985 and is considered one of the main players in the craft brew movement. However, go back another 20 years and there’s an even more influential brewery: the Anchor Brewing Company based in San Francisco.

One of the traditions of my fraternity was to “adopt” new pledges into different respective beer families. There were a number of different families, including but not limited to the Coors Light family, the Sierra Nevada family, the Anchor Steam family, and my own, which was the unfortunate (for many different reasons) Red Nectar Ale family. Red Nectar Ale is disgusting, probably one of the worst beers I’ve ever had in my life. In fact, I tried to stage a coup d’état by splitting off from that family and starting the Sam Adams family. That’s another story for another time.

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